The Journey That Matters

Lech Lecha is a Torah portion of journeys, of beginnings. It is a portion dedicated to setting the course of history. Avram is commanded to go forth from his ancestral home. Together with Sarai and Lot, he travels as far as the land of Canaan and receives God’s blessing that the land will belong to… Read More

Dan L’Kaf Zechut

“Monday we’ll be having a math test on fractions and integers,” said Mr. Stone to our sixth-grade one Friday morning. “Not much time to study,” I whispered to my friend, Katz. “You’ll each be paired with a phone study partner,” the teacher said; he began assigning partners. I was paired up with Katz. “Call me… Read More

The Holy Mentch

Noah and Abraham were two men in the history of the world who stood up for what they believed, against their entire generation, and won. They emerged as fathers, Noah asfather of all mankind and Abraham as father of the Jews. Noah stood up against an immoral generation. It was socially, sexually and fiscally immoral…. Read More

Deceived By Potential Greatness

I’ve often compared my life to one of those plate spinners. I have 10 plates spinning at all times, and all is going well. Then someone comes by and nonchalantly adds another five plates, and over the next few minutes my heart is pounding, sweat’s dripping down my face, everyone’s giving me disappointing looks as… Read More

Under The Sky

On Sukkot, we read the troubling text, Ecclesiastes. This megillah addresses the futility of life, a potentially incongruous theme for a holiday referred to as “time of our joy.” I searched through the book for a lesson on Sukkot, and I found some of the wording reflective of a larger message. We’ve all heard of… Read More

True Repentance

We have seen many examples this year of confession, vows and promises made in public.  Sports figures, politicians, entertainers. Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner, Paula Deen and Ryan Braun — just a few among the many who come to mind for their acknowledgments of wrongdoing this past year. The majority fall short from the perspective of… Read More

You Are A Soul

Eureka! The moment a new idea comes to mind, a new project, a new way of doing things, a new understanding of a situation, is one of the most thrilling sensations possible. All the potential energy of the idea encapsulated into a moment. It’s the big bang of starting something new. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish… Read More

Hidden Star

Stepping forward one night at choir practice, 11-year-old Talya felt her head spin. When it came to solos, Talya’s voice came out sounding like a mix between a kazoo and a flute. She stood still, blushing. “You can do it,” Talya heard her older sister, Dini, whisper. Dini who was only three years older, seemed… Read More

Be An Innovator

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Back in the early 1950s, a large shoe consortium with stores across the U.S. and Canada decided to take its business venture into the emerging continent of Africa. They sent two of their salesmen there. After just one week, they received a cable from the first salesman, “I am returning at once. No hope for… Read More

More Than Just An Obstacle Course

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In this week’s Torah Portion, Parshat Ki Tavo, we read something known as the tochacha. The tochacha is a long list of terrible calamities that Moses prophesizes will befall the Jewish people in the future. Toward the end of the passage, Moses informs us why such awful things will happen to the Jewish people —… Read More